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State Quick Links

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The State Festival is the signature event for Oregon Thespians. It is attended by over 1700 theatre students and teachers from around the state and features educational theatre workshops, several main stage productions, dozens of one act plays, presentations, and more.

Schools may apply to have one of their productions featured at the Festival as one of the top high school shows of the year.  All troupes attending are expected to participate in some significant way. Participating troupes may bring one-act plays or scenes to showcase in the One Act Marathon, or present a troupe-sponsored Workshop. Workshops are also offered by local, regional, and national theatre professionals and college students and professors.

The qualifying top 10% in each category from the Regional Acting Competitions audition for the State Showcase at the State Festival. Judges select a minimum of two scenes or as many as 20% per category to perform at the State Showcase. Entries deemed superior at their Regional Competitions, by virtue of their advancement to the final round of auditions at State, are also eligible to enter the Thespys® competition at the International Thespian Festival in June.

Design/Technical Theatre events are also conducted, including a range of events in which students can advance for adjudication and recognition at both the State and National levels.

At the end of the Festival, awards for Honor Troupe, technical achievement, and Scholarships are presented and a new State Board is elected. See SCHOLARSHIPS/HONORS for more information on teacher, troupe, and student opportunities.

High school students in grades 9-12, their theatre teachers, and chaperones are welcome at the conference. The registered Troupe Director MUST attend with the delegation, or designate an adult Troupe leader (with approval from their school). All students must be chaperoned by an adult (21 years or older) for the entire weekend of the Festival.

State Festival 2025 Schedule

Detailed schedule shared with registered participants the week of State Festival using the event app Eventsential

General Sample Schedule (Two Tracks)

Thurs., Apr. 3 

12-6pm Pre-festival activities (Showcase Auditions, Design/Tech Competition, Honor Troupe Presentations, Advocacy event, College Auditions, and more)

6-10pm Festival opening and Evening Events

Fri., Apr. 4

9am-10pm Festival events all day (Workshops, One Acts, and more)

Sat., Apr. 5

9am-6pm Festival events and closing

Participant Forms


Troupe Directors are required to print, distribute, and collect complete, signed copies of each form below for each participating student in the State Festival.


Please note:

All forms must be uploaded into your high school troupe's unique folder, located inside the Oregon Thespians G-Suite Shared Drive Folder "Oregon Thespians Required Forms Folder." To access, Troupe Directors must log into your troupe's unique account yourschoolname @ oregonthespians.org.


1) ALL TROUPE DIRECTORS MUST UPLOAD BOTH the "Health Information and Liability Release" AND "Code of Conduct" FORMS into the Oregon Thespians G-Suite Shared Drive folder "Oregon Thespians Required Forms" folder into your troupe's director-created unique troupe folder to complete Festival registration.

2) BOTH students AND adults for the duration of the event, an individual paper copy, shown at the registration table on check-in, must go into each participant's nametag wallet. The wallet is provided at Festival registration table when the Troupe Director checks in and receives their registration supplies.

3) TROUPE DIRECTORS MUST KEEP THEIR OWN SET OF COPIES, PARTICULARLY THE HEALTH FORM. You can use the e-forms you upload into the Shared Drive, or another paper copy. You may have additional district or school forms, but they will not be accepted as official Festival forms.

Required for ALL participants
(adults and students)

Students without these signed forms will not be permitted to participate.

  • The required forms will be checked to complete registration.

  • Troupe Directors must keep their own set of copies, which can include uploaded versions.

  • Each student must keep a copy of their Health Form in their nametag wallet, which they will receive at the Festival when your Troupe Director checks in.

Required for ALL participants
(adults and students)

Students without these signed forms will not be permitted to participate.

  • The required forms will be checked to complete registration.

  • Troupe Directors must keep their own set of copies, which can include uploaded versions.

HEALTH AND SAFETY:

  • Oregon Thespians will follow state, district, and host site health and safety guidelines.

  • All Troupe Directors, Chaperones, and Student Participants are expected to follow the directions of their own school district’s expectations and protocols with regard to vaccination status, negative testing, and any other district requirements, in order to comply with that district’s protocols for participating in any field trip. Everyone must comply with any and all other necessary restrictions when attending this event.

  • Everyone attending Regionals in any capacity may be asked to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth (no gaiters) at all times in all venues, unless actively performing for a live audience (ex: auditions, one acts, main stage events, showcase). Plan accordingly.

  • All participants, regardless of age, must complete a self check at home. If you are feeling ill or showing signs of sickness, stay home. 

  • ​Anyone not adhering to these protocols will be subject to possible disqualification.

  • ​Thank you for understanding and helping keep us all healthy and safe!

State Financial Assistance Grant

STATE FEES

Officially Inducted Thespians $100

Future Thespians: $110

Chaperones: $105

 

Need funds to attend an Oregon Thespian event? Limited grants are available.

Grant recipients announced prior to the State registration deadline.

Stage Curtains

Honor Troupe

Submission Deadline: March 20

We are continuing to develop the process by which an Oregon Thespian Troupe earns the title HONOR TROUPE. Troupes earning at least 60 points on the online application form, and after a student-led presentation at State Festival highlighting their "Spotlight Focus", qualify as an Honor Troupe. At the State Festival, one troupe is selected to present their "Spotlight Focus."


The presentation is intended to focus on something which really makes your Troupe’s efforts stand out. We call it a SPOTLIGHT FOCUS, and it represents an activity or project that your Troupe undertook this year over and above your normal level of activity. It should represent a reach, or an innovative step, in how you use existing resources and/or develop new ones.


Using guidelines from other states’ processes, we have established a point system to help Troupes demonstrate a mean level of activity for their Troupe.  When applying, you will be asked to provide information about your Troupe’s activities and projects in four areas:  Theatre Production, Community Service, Participation in Oregon Thespians, and Outreach.


The point system was developed to encourage a solid, balanced level of involvement and activity across those four areas. Up to 30 points may be earned for Theatre Production, up to 20 points for Community Service, up to 30 points for Participation, and up to 20 points for Outreach. We have set the mark at 60 points to establish a base level of involvement.


Once a troupe establishes this level, attention turns to a specific project or activity that stretched the Troupe’s resources, created innovative connections, represented a risk, or otherwise stood as an “over and above” attempt.


We would like the Honor Troupe designation to honor Troupes that maintain a balanced level of involvement and strive for excellence by stretching themselves in new and innovative ways.


Troupe presentations will be scheduled on the first day of the State Festival, the same day as Showcase Auditions and Tech Entries, and are to be presented by students. Adjudicators will validate the Troupe’s claims and those who satisfy the requirements will be named Honor Troupe. No limits to how many troupes can achieve Honor Troupe.


All Honor Troupes will receive a certificate and be recognized at the conclusion of the State Festival.

Presentations happen at the State Thespian Festival. Those troupes that register online will receive further information about the presentation at State.  

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Parade of Troupes

ONE SLIDE Submission Deadline: March 20

The Parade of Troupes is another opportunity for Oregon Thespians to recognize every troupe’s contributions to educational theatre in our state. All Troupes and Junior Troupes participating in State are asked to submit one (1) Powerpoint slide for inclusion in the annual Parade of Troupes presentation at the Thespians State Festival and Junior Thespians State Day.


Submit by uploading at the link below.

TIps & Hints:

  • Your ONE SLIDE must be no larger than 2 MB and be STATIC. 

  • Multiple images are allowed but no video, sound, or animations.

  • If a specialty font is used, it will only look correct in the final presentation if the font is also installed on the computer showing the final presentation, so limit font use to those that are common to most machines. Really common. Like, everyone has them.

  • If you assign a background to the ONE SLIDE, do not select “apply to all.” Do not use a template slide design. Create your ONE SLIDE from scratch, as a standalone. A presentation of ONE SLIDE.

  • Avoid using pre-made Powerpoint templates as these often incorporate a background on a single slide which will be lost when your ONE SLIDE is copied into the rest of the presentation. You can test your ONE SLIDE by copying and pasting it into another presentation (ideally on a different computer). That’s what we’ll be doing on this end.

  • You can use your imaging software (photoshop or similar) to save high-resolution photos at a lower resolution, decreasing the amount of memory they take.

  • Remember that your ONE SLIDE will be a part of a fast-moving, projected presentation. Aim for high visual impact. Use a few words. Text will be difficult to read, limit it to titles and headlines only.


Save your ONE SLIDE with your school name as the file name, and upload it at the link provided.

Questions? Contact Tom Cavanaugh at mcnaryhs@oregonthespians.org.

Download PARADE of TROUPES SOP

Theatre Etiquette Videos

Submission Deadline: March 20

The Theatre Etiquette video submission is another opportunity for Oregon Thespians to showcase their work in our state. Troupes participating at State are invited to submit a THEATRE ETIQUETTE VIDEO to be shown prior to each of the Main Stage Productions and Festival Finale.

  • Troupes or individual Thespians can create original theatre etiquette videos.

  • Up to four videos will be selected by STO or Adult Board Members for presentation at the State Festival.

  • Videos should be no more than 3 minutes long, and creatively remind audiences of proper theatre etiquette around areas such as talking, cell phones, texting, food and drink, and other proper audience behavior.

  • Videos must be submitted on ONLINE.

  • Post your video as an unlisted video on YouTube and send the link to Tom Cavanaugh mcnaryhs@oregonthespians.org.


Up to four videos can be featured!

Theater Lights

Production Response and Adjudication

Response: Productions applying to receive written feedback only.

Adjudication: Productions applying to receive written feedback AND also be considered to perform at State.
Application Deadline: Dec. 15

The deadline for applying to receive Production Response (written feedback only) and Adjudication (consideration to bring a full Production to the State Festival) is December 15 each year. Productions performed by January 15 are eligible. Before applying, please carefully review ALL information contained on this page, including all documents linked from this page. 

All Productions will receive written feedback.

 

Each year, a number of Productions by Oregon Thespian Troupes are selected to perform at the State Festival.

To have a Production considered for one of the available performance slots, read and follow the information and guidelines found in the SOP below, as well as the application itself.

Please note: Written feedback is given by the Production Adjudication committee. Live adjudication is not offered by Oregon Thespians. If desired, directors should make their own arrangements for any live response for the benefit of feedback for themselves and their company. Director arranged feedback has no bearing on the Production Adjudication committee's selections for a performance slot at State.

Note that advance planning and preparation are crucial to the success of a Production at State. Application and request deadlines are important for your committee members who are facilitating the selection process.

If you are planning to have a Production considered for State, please review the technical specifications and stage layout of The Historic Elsinore Theatre and stage specifications of The Grand Theatre, our State performance venues, so you can plan for a potential presentation at either of these sites.

  • Submission Options:

    1. Online Response - NOT for State performance consideration; written feedback only (Fee $100)

    2. Online Adjudication - for State performance consideration (Fee $100)

  • TWO FEE PAYMENT OPTIONS (for application fee):

    • CREDIT CARD: You can pay by credit card through OpenWater (preferred; additional 3.4% fee).

    • CHECK TO: OREGON THESPIANS. Your name, troupe, and "Production Adjudication" must appear on the memo line. Mail check to: Roosevelt HS Theatre, c/o Jo Strom Lane, Oregon Thespians Chapter Director, 6941 N. Central St., Portland OR 97203.

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Acting Showcase Auditions

Troupe Directors must confirm participation for any entries who have qualified for the State Showcase Auditions.

Click here to confirm participation by Feb. 27 for 2025.

The State Showcase Auditions for Oregon begin at the Regional Acting Competition, where the top 10% in each event, following the two or three schedule preliminary rounds for that event, are deemed superior and named Showcase Audition Qualifiers.

 

This designation also qualifies these entries to participate in the International Thespian Excellence Awards Showcase at the International Thespian Festival in June. (Note that some Oregon rules and events vary from Thespys™, and not all events are held at the ITFest).

 

At State, each entry performs one time before a team of two judges. These judges provide adjudication and then consult collectively to select two entries per category, or 10% of the number of entries, whichever is greater, to represent in the State Showcase.

 

The State Showcase Auditions typically happen on the Thursday of the State Festival, between Noon and 5 pm.  The day and time of the State Showcase itself can vary from year to year. All those participating in the auditions are encouraged to register and participate in the State Festival, but this is not required.

 

Troupe Directors must confirm their entries’ participation in the State Showcase Auditions, following Regionals and before the State Deadline.

For more information, please email performance@oregonthespians.org

Design and Tech Events

Students attending the State Festival are able to submit an entry in a DESIGN/TECH EVENT. Entries are adjudicated, providing feedback and recognition. Students can qualify to enter at the International Thespian Festival, as well. 

 

The cost of entering is $16 per entry for current Thespian Members and $18 per entry for non-Thespian students.

Each Troupe is limited to three (3) entries per Design/Tech Event and three (3) entries per student. If you have more students interested, we suggest you hold an “in-house adjudication” to select which three (3) per event will represent your Troupe at the State level.

 

Below is the complete list of DESIGN/TECH EVENTS that will be adjudicated at the State Festival this year.

CLICK on the event to get the rubric. You can find the SOP below. *Short Film for 2021 and later will follow International rules.

For more information, email Jim Fewer, Design/Tech Coordinator, at designtech@oregonthespians.org.

Stage Management

Costume Design

Lighting Design

Scenic Design

Makeup Design

Sound Design

Props Design

Costume Construction

Proposed Thespys - BETA TEST

Oregon Thespians is a part of the BETA TESTING GROUP for the Proposed Thespy national categories. 

Below is are the rules and rubrics for the BETA TEST of the Directing Thespy and Props Thespy for ITF. The Oregon Thespians' version are linked in the section above. These documents can be printed and added to a hardcopy manual, if desired. Check the date of any hardcopies you have. Below is the most current version.

Click here for the Proposed Directing Thespy RUBRIC & RULES 2023-2024

Click here for the Proposed Props Thespy RUBRIC & RULES 2023-2024

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One-Act
Marathon

Troupes can bring one-act plays and cuttings to perform at State in the following categories: Playwriting, Freestyle, and/or Chapter Select. One-acts can range from staged readings to cuttings and 10 minute plays to fully staged one-acts, both published and original works, depending on the category. Troupes can enter more than one category (as time/space allows). Multiple entries per category are allowed.

1. Playwriting Performance: Pre-selected Playwriting winners produce their own original plays and then perform at State, either as a staged reading or a fully staged production. Also, Playwriting shows can be considered for Chapter Select, but those productions should be a fully staged show, and needs to be entered in the Chapter Select category. See separate section for Playwriting Competition information.

2. Freestyle: Freestyle is a performance venue open to anyone and just about anything. You can present one-acts, staged readings, cuttings, scenes, original works, 10 minute plays, or simply use it as a venue to share your rehearsed talents.

3. Chapter Select (CS distinction based on space available at ITF): Chapter Select one-acts are screened at State Conference to become the one Chapter Select show recommended to perform at the International Thespian Festival in June as the representative top quality one-act in the Oregon State/Chapter that year. Chapter Select eligible shows will be adjudicated. The selected show, including all cast and crew, must plan to attend Festival and follow the IT Festival regulations regarding performance.

GUIDELINES AND JUDGING STANDARDS FOR OREGON THESPIANS ONE-ACT MARATHON:

  1. Each show is allowed no longer than 45 minutes for performance, 10 minutes for set up and 5 minutes for strike.

  2. Plan to perform in a space no larger than 10’ x 15’.

  3. Use only essential costumes, scenery, and props.

  4. Furniture and other scenic items are not provided.

  5. Bring your own sound equipment, such as a portable stereo system, CDs, and speakers loud enough for both actors and audience to hear.

  6. Stage lighting is not guaranteed in every performance space.

  7. All One-Acts will be assigned performance space and time.

  8. All One-Acts will be grouped by category for performances. Be sure to select the correct category when you submit your One Act during your online registration.

  9. All One-Act Marathon plays will receive feedback from at least one respondent (Playwriting and Freestyle) or two Adjudicators (Chapter Select).

  10. All One-Acts receiving an overall SUPERIOR rating will be recognized.

Click below to see the rubrics used by adjudicators:

PLAYWRITING PERFORMANCE RUBRIC

FREESTYLE RUBRIC

CHAPTER SELECT RUBRIC

Also available is the HOW TO guide for Hosts, or those considering hosting.

For more information, please email Lara Okamoto, One-Act Marathon Coordinator, at oneacts@oregonthespians.org.

ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES

Productions In Process

The PIPs (pea-eye-peas) are where troupes celebrate the process rather than the finished product. The PIPs provide the opportunity for more students to present in 15 minute "snapshots". PIPs can be staged readings, mid-rehearsal, or nearly ready for a performance. We're getting a sneak peak at the work that's in progress on a production. They will be part of the One-Act Marathon as under the "Freestyle" category. Some guidelines:

  • PIPs are sharing cuttings of a show from full-length musicals or plays. 

    • For example: one scene or one number from a show you are working on.

  • Each PIP has 15 minutes to “load in”, show, and strike.

  • You will need to provide a device on which Music or Sound track to be played.

  • General wash lighting will be provided.

  • Students should go onstage in what they are wearing in the audience; no dressing room.

  • Participants are expected to be attendees of the entire State Festival.

  • Bring one 30 gallon tub filled with whatever is needed to use for the PIP.

  • Three categories:

    • STAGED READING:  Please only select this if you are planning to have a staged reading, where performers have script-in-hand, even if they have blocking. Performers might be in professional blacks or suggested costumes, for example. Tech is limited to essential props, wash of stage light, and basic sound cues.

    • MID-REHEARSAL PROCESS: Whether its a few weeks, or several weeks, into mounting the production, you've got something on its feet to share that still needs some polish. Performers might be in professional blacks or suggested costumes, for example. Tech is limited to essential props, wash of stage light, and basic sound cues.

    • NEARLY READY FOR PERFORMANCE: Equivalent to heading into tech week, almost all of the elements are there, but there's more to tighten up and smooth out before it is in its final form. Performers might be in professional blacks or costumes, for example. Tech is limited to essential props, wash of stage light, and basic sound cues.

Pieces of Production

The POPs (pea-oh-peas) are where troupes share a section of their finished product. The POPs provide the opportunity for more students to present in 15 minute "snippet" of a fully prepared show. We're getting a view of a section of the finished work of a production. They will be part of the One-Act Marathon as under the "Freestyle" category. Some guidelines:

  • POPs are sharing cuttings of a show from full-length musicals or plays. 

    • For example: one scene or one number from a show you have performed already.

  • Each POP has 15 minutes to “load in”, show, and strike.

  • You will need to provide a device on which Music or Sound track to be played.

  • General wash lighting will be provided.

  • Students should go onstage in what they are wearing in the audience; no dressing room.

  • Participants are expected to be attendees of the entire State Festival.

  • Bring one 30 gallon tub filled with whatever is needed to use for the POP.

Playwriting

High school students can submit original plays for adjudication. All plays are given written feedback. Of those submitted, up to four plays are selected to present at the State Festival. They can be a staged reading to fully staged one-act as part of the One-Act Marathon, in the Playwriting category, unless specifically requested to be considered for Chapter Select (CS distinction based on space available at ITF).

Submissions will be accepted via our online platform OpenWater. Once available, click this direct to application link to access the PLAYWRITING SUBMISSION FORM 2023-2024 --> TO BE UPDATED FOR 2025.

TIMELINE

  • November 1 - Submission window opens

  • December 15 - PLAYWRITING SUBMISSION DEADLINE

  • December 15-31 - Adjudication window

  • January 1-14 - Judges decide 2-4 Meritorious selections

  • February 1 - Playwriting Coordinator emails the Meritorious playwrights with invitation to bring their plays to State.

 

If you haven't already, you must create your own OpenWater account. When you register, select the playwriting option. You must enter all required information and upload your script document. Add your registration to the cart, checkout, and FINALIZE or you won't be registered. You should receive an invoice and confirmation notice.

  • Please read and adhere strictly to the entry guidelines. If you intend to submit your work to the International Festival, check the EdTA website (www.schooltheatre.org) as their guidelines and deadlines do differ.

  • Entries will be submitted online. No paper copies will be accepted.

  • All entries must be in PDF format.

  • Please refer to the student playwriting rubric.

  • Please do NOT list any identifying information beyond Name and Troupe # on your script document.

  • ENTRY FEES: THESPIANS $16; NON-THESPIANS $18.

  • TWO PAYMENT OPTIONS:

    • CREDIT CARD: You can pay by credit card through OpenWater (preferred method; processing fee 3.4%).

    • CHECK TO: OREGON THESPIANS. Your name, troupe, and "playwriting" must appear on the memo line. Mail check to: Roosevelt HS Theatre, c/o Jo Strom Lane, Oregon Thespians Chapter Director, 6941 N. Central St., Portland OR 97203.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Please adhere to the following:

  • Please do NOT list any identifying information beyond Name and Troupe # on your script document.

  • Maximum length is 30 typewritten pages, not including title page and dramatis personae.

  • Use 1” – 1 ½” margins.

  • Use a 12-point, simple font.

  • Use all capitals for character indicators.

  • Italicize all stage directions.

  • Number each page.

  • Proofread for correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.​

 

JUDGING STANDARDS FOR PLAYWRITING

Plays are Judged based on the following criteria:

  1. Dialogue: Dialogue consistently reveals character, traits, personalities, conflict, mood, and is consistent with style and form. Feels authentic, consistent with character voice throughout script.

  2. Creative Process, Setting, Research: Very original presentation of material, captures audience’s attention. Research apparent. Setting serves character, theme, and story.

  3. Dramatic Action, Structure, Conflict: Logical, fluid development of play. Each scene includes compelling complications and is linked with transitions. Very clear beginning, middle and end serve character regarding meaningful conflict, crisis, climax, and conclusion.

  4. Character: Characters are clearly-defined and well-developed; contrasts between them creates dramatic tension. Internal/external motivations are clear.

  5. Meaning/Intent: Playwright’s intent is skillfully intertwined in play and serves the character and story.

  6. Theatricality: Dramatic action is clearly designed for stage presentation. Stage directions are clear and helpful. Readers can easily picture how the play would be staged.

SELECTION

  • The selection committee is made up of playwrights and theatre professionals from around Oregon.

  • All plays will receive written critiques.

  • Meritorious plays may be announced at the Regional Acting Competitions when possible, or at least prior to the State deadline. 

  • Selected playwrights receiving meritorious awards are requested to produce their plays at the State Thespian Festival.

  • Plays may be produced as a full one-act production or as reader’s-theatre-style staged readings. 

  • Final recognition of playwrights occurs during the State Festival.

  • Awards will be given to State Selects and State Finalists at State. Certificates of honorable mention may be awarded as well.

  • Contact the Playwriting Coordinator with questions.

 

Contact Playwriting Coordinator Annie Kaiser, West Linn HS, at playwriting@oregonthespians.org with questions.

State SOP

Below is the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Manual for State Thespian Festival. This document can be printed and added to a hardcopy manual, if desired. Check the date of any hardcopies you have. Below is the most current version.


Also available is the HOW TO HOST Event Guide for Hosts, or those considering hosting.

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